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Congressional hopeful Michael Hepburn boasts of already receiving more than 1,700 contributions

Illeana Ros-Lehtinen’s decision to not seek another term representing Florida’s 27th Congressional District has spurred six Democrats to enter the 2018 contest.

Among those Democrats is Michael A. Hepburn, a senior academic adviser for the School of Business at the University of Miami. He lost a 2014 primary election against Daphne Campbell for the state House.

Hepburn announced Monday that he has already received 1,780 contributions from more than 1,580 donors, though he did not announce his fundraising numbers.

“More people have contributed to our campaign in less than two months, than both of my opponents last political campaigns combined,” Hepburn said in reference to two of his opponents in the race, Miami Dade state Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez and Miami Beach commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez.

Rosen Gonzalez and Miami City commissioner Ken Russell both have raised more than $100,000 in the relatively nascent campaign, set in motion when Ros-Lehtinen announced in late April that after 29 years in office, she will not run for ree-lection in 2018.

Russell has not formally filed to run in the race. He tells the Miami Herald that he filed an exploratory committee to gauge interest. He began fundraising about four weeks ago.

State Rep. David Richardson and Mark Anthony Person fill out the Democratic field.

“I agree with the voters that I have met,” says Hepburn.”We simply do not need more millionaires or career politicians running to represent us. We also do not need more elected officials running for Congress, who choose not to honor their current commitments to the voters that have elected them.”

Republicans in the race include Miami-Dade County commissioner Bruno Barreiro, former Miami-Dade mayoral candidate and school board member Raquel Regalado and Maria Peiro.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at

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